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Waste is representing an important environmental pollution source, not only for the soil and ground water, but also for the air. Deposit in open land fields is not allowed according European standards and the EU countries have met national regulations to close the exiting non-ecological deposits and turn them into ecological ones. Also the general management for the waste is to be accordingly re-evaluated and shaped in a novel. Waste is representing also an energy source that should be not wasted. The waste (mainly municipal waste) must be properly reused as it represents material and energy content. Combustion, fermentation and recycling are possible solution for turning the waste management into a business, also reducing simultaneously the environmental damages raised by the enormous waste quantities, nowadays. The presentation will focus on clean combustion and co-combustion of waste, and on technologies to turn the energy content of the waste into other cleaner energy sources. One will raise attention also about the barriers – technical and mental – to apply correct waste management, as well to the consequences of not given a correct input to this matter from the society and policy makers. Examples from the author's experience and literature will elucidate the conclusions.
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Clean technology from waste management
IONEL IOANA
Department Mechanical Machines Equipment and Technologies, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
University “POLITEHNICA” of Timisoara
Bv. M. Viteazu, 1, 300222, Timisoara
ROMANIA
Ionel_Monica@mec.upt.ro, www.mec.upt.ro, http://www.energieregen.mec.upt.ro
Abstract: - Waste is representing an important environmental pollution source, not only for the soil and ground water,
but also for the air. Deposit in open land fields is not allowed according European standards and the EU countries have
met national regulations to close the exiting non-ecological deposits and turn them into ecological ones. Also the
general management for the waste is to be accordingly re-evaluated and shaped in a novel. Waste is representing also
an energy source that should be not wasted. The waste (mainly municipal waste) must be properly reused as it
represents material and energy content. Combustion, fermentation and recycling are possible solution for turning the
waste management into a business, also reducing simultaneously the environmental damages raised by the enormous
waste quantities, nowadays. The presentation will focus on clean combustion and co-combustion of waste, and on
technologies to turn the energy content of the waste into other cleaner energy sources. One will raise attention also
about the barriers technical and mental to apply correct waste management, as well to the consequences of not
given a correct input to this matter from the society and policy makers.
Examples from the author’s experience and literature will elucidate the conclusions.
Key-Words: - Waste, bio-waste, renewable energy resource, clean technology, clean combustion, CO2 reduction.
1 Introduction
Waste management is the collection, transport,
processing, recycling or disposal, and monitoring of
waste materials. The term usually relates to materials
produced by human activity, and is generally undertaken
to reduce their effect on health, the environment or
aesthetics. Waste management is also carried out to
recover resources from it. Waste management can
involve solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive substances,
with different methods and fields of expertise for each.
Waste management practices differ for developed and
developing nations, for urban and rural areas, and for
residential and industrial producers. Management for
non-hazardous residential and institutional waste in
metropolitan areas is usually the responsibility of local
government authorities, while management for non-
hazardous commercial and industrial waste is usually the
responsibility of the generator [7], [11], [24].
All organisms produce wastes, but none produces as
many wastes of such diverse composition as humans.
Society's wastes arise from many different activities;
growth is worldwide still accompanied by increasing
amounts of waste, causing unnecessary losses of
materials and energy, environmental damage and
negative effects on health and quality of life. It is a
strategic goal of most developed countries to reduce
these negative impacts, meaning to reduce waste or
applying a correct management system to exploit it,
turning into novel technologies, opportunities of
business, and offering new jobs and further advantages
for the community that is generating it. The EU intends
to turn waste into a resource efficient and thus put the
base of a "Recycling Society". Waste management is
already governed by a substantial body of regulation but
there remain opportunities for further improving the
management of some major waste streams [21], [25].
The several kinds of waste produced by a technological
society can he categorized in many ways. Some kinds of
wastes are released into the air and water. Some are
purposely released, while others are released
accidentally. Many wastes that are purposely released
are treated before their release. There are wastes with
particularly dangerous characteristics, such as nuclear
wastes, medical wastes, industrial hazardous wastes, and
household hazardous wastes. The novel world wide and
EC strategy set out three national goals for municipal
solid waste management: Increase source reduction and
recycling, increase environmental friendly disposal
capacity and improve secondary material markets, and
improve the safety of solid waste management facilities,
by using the energy content of the waste [1].
Solid waste is generally made up of objects or particles
that accumulate on the site where they are produced, as
opposed to water, and airborne wastes that are carried
away from the site of production. Solid wastes are
typically categorized by the sector of the economy
responsible for producing them, such as mining,
agriculture, manufacturing, and municipalities.
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Mining waste is generated in three primary ways. First,
in most mining operations, large amounts of rock and
soil need to be removed to get to the valuable ore. This
waste material is generally left on the surface at the mine
site. Second, milling operations use various technologies
to extract the valuable material from the ore. These
techniques vary from relatively simple grinding and
sorting to sophisticated chemical separation processes.
Regardless of the technique involved, once the valuable
material is recovered, the remaining waste material,
commonly known as tailings, must be disposed of. Solid
materials are typically dumped on the land near the
milling site, and liquid wastes are typically stored in
ponds. It is difficult to get vegetation to grow on these
piles of waste rock and tailings, so they are unsightly and
remain exposed to rain and wind. Finally, the water that
drains or is pumped from mines or that flows from piles
of waste rock or tailings often contains hazardous
materials (such as asbestos, arsenic, lead, and radioactive
materials) or high amounts of acid that must be
contained or treated - but often are not. Many types of
mining operations require vast quantities of water for the
extraction process. The quality of this water is degraded,
so it is unsuitable for drinking, irrigation, or recreation.
Since mining disturbs the natural vegetation in an area,
water may carry soil particles into streams and cause
erosion and siltation. Some mining operations, such as
strip mining, rearrange the top layers of the soil, which
lessens or eliminates its productivity for a long time.
Agricultural waste is the second most common form of
waste and includes waste from the raising of animals and
the harvesting and processing of crops and trees. Other
wastes associated with agriculture, such as waste from
processing operations (peelings, seeds, straw, stems,
sludge, and similar materials). Since most agricultural
waste is organic, it is used as fertilizer or for other soil-
enhancement activities. Other materials are burned as a
source of energy, so little of this waste needs to be
placed in landfills. However, when too much waste is
produced in one place, there may not be enough
farmland available to accept the agricultural waste
without causing water pollution problems associated
with runoff or groundwater contamination due to
infiltration.
Industrial solid waste from sources other than mining
includes a wide variety of materials such as demolition
waste, foundry sand, scraps from manufacturing
processes, sludge, ash from combustion, and other
similar materials. These materials are tested to determine
if they are hazardous. If they are classified as hazardous
waste, their disposal requires that they be placed in
special hazardous waste landfills.
Municipal solid waste (MSW) consist of all the
materials that people in a region no longer want because
they are broken, spoiled, or have no further use. It
includes waste from households, commercial
establishments, institutions, and some industrial sources.
Specialists and local communities, in addition to
governmental agencies and local authorities generally
decide how waste will be managed whether by landfill,
incineration, recycling, composting, waste reduction, or
a combination.
Bio-waste [18], [25] is defined as biodegradable garden
and park waste, food and kitchen waste from
households, restaurants, caterers and retail premises, and
comparable waste from food processing plants. It does
not include forestry or agricultural residues, manure,
sewage sludge, or other biodegradable waste such as
natural textiles, paper or processed wood, that are
biomass categories, as well. It also excludes those by-
products of food production that never become waste.
The total annual arising of bio-waste in the EU is
estimated at 76.5-102 Mt food and garden waste
included in mixed municipal solid waste and up to 37 Mt
from the food and drink industry. Bio-waste is a
putrescible, generally wet waste. There are two major
streams (i) green waste from parks, gardens etc. and (ii)
kitchen waste. The former includes usually 50-60 %
water and more wood (lignocelluloses); the latter
contains no wood, but up to 80 %, by mass, water. Waste
management options for bio-waste include, in addition to
prevention at source, collection (separately or with
mixed waste), anaerobic digestion and composting,
incineration, and environmental friendly land filling. The
environmental and economic benefits of different
treatment methods depend significantly on local
conditions such as population density, infrastructure and
climate as well as on markets for associated products
(energy and composts). Today, very different national
policies apply to bio-waste management, ranging from
little action in some Member States to ambitious policies
in others.
Hazardous waste means waste that requires special
precaution in its storage, collection, transportation,
treatment or disposal to prevent damage to persons or
property, and includes explosive, flammable, volatile,
radioactive, toxic and pathological wastes. This category
includes the management of three types of hazardous
wastes from their source to ultimate disposal: (i) the
radioactive materials, which are primarily the
responsibility of specials national and international
authorities, (ii) medical wastes, and (iii) the non-
radioactive liquid industrial wastes, which are mainly
under state or provincial jurisdiction. Hazards in the
environment may arise also from natural occurrences
like floods and hurricanes, from human environmental
disturbances like CO2 build-up and acid rain, and from
the improper treatment and disposal of the toxic and
hazardous wastes generated by an industrialized society
[1], [2].
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2 Problem Formulation concerning
Waste Management
Figure 1 indicates the structure of the waste disposal in
time. The landfill is still the primary method of disposal.
Historically, landfills have been the cheapest means of
disposal, but this may turn in the future. Recycling and
composting have grown, while the amount of waste
going to landfills has declined somewhat.
Fig.1: Changes in Waste Disposal Methods.
Source: Data from the U.S. EPA [18].
Fig. 2: Bad & good news in solid waste production.
Source: Data from the U.S. EPA, 2005 [18].
Based on a Community-wide commitment to reaching a
target of 20 % share of renewable energy in final energy
consumption by 2020, the European Commission
proposed a RES Directive to replace existing Directives
on the promotion of renewable electricity (Directive
2001/77/EC) and bio fuels (Directive 2003/30/EC).
Figure 2 indicates that waste production in Europe has
risen steadily to more than 2 kg per capita per day.
Recycling rates are also rising, however [15], [16].
The proposal strongly supports the use of all types of
biomass, including bio-waste for energy purposes, and
requires Member States to develop National Action
Plans to outline national policies to develop existing
biomass resources and mobilise new biomass resources
for different uses. The Renewable Energy Road Map for
Europe projected that around 195 million tonnes of oil
equivalent (Mtoe) of biomass will be used in 2020 to
achieve the 20 % renewable energy target.
Biodegradable part of MSW is considered biomass.
A report by the European Environment Agency found
that the potential for bio-energy from the MSW is 20
Mtoe, which would account for around 7 % of all
renewable energy in 2020, assuming that all wastes
which are currently land filled would become available
for incineration, with energy recovery and waste which
are composted will be subject to anaerobic digestion first
and then composted [2], [8], [15], [16].
As Figure 3 indicates paper products are the largest
component of the waste stream. Changes in lifestyle and
packaging have led to a change in the nature of trash.
Note the increase in the amount of plastics in the waste
stream, most of what is currently disposed or could be
recycled.
Fig. 3: The Changing Nature of Trash.
Source: Data from the U.S. EPA, 2004 [18].
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2.1. Current Techniques in Waste Management
From prehistory through the present day, the favoured
means of disposal was simply to dump solid wastes
outside of the city or village limits. Frequently, these
dumps were in wetlands adjacent to a river or lake. To
minimize the volume of the waste, the dump was often
binned. Unfortunately, this method is still being used in
remote or sparsely populated areas in the world. As
better waste-disposal technologies were developed and
as values changed, more emphasis was placed on the
environment and quality of life. Dumping and open
burning of wastes is no longer an acceptable practice
from an environmental or health perspective. While the
technology of waste disposal has evolved during the past
several decades, options are still limited. Realistically,
there are no ways of dealing with waste that have not
been known for many thousands of years. Essentially,
five techniques are used: (1) landfills, (2) incineration,
(3) source reduction, (4) composting, and (5) recycling.
Land filling, although according to the waste hierarchy
the worst option, is still the most used MSW disposal
method worldwide, even recently the EC reduced the
legal existence of such techniques, by putting pressure to
close the open air landfill deposits, and not permitting
opening of new ones. Landfills need to be constructed
and operated in line with the EU Landfill Directive
(impermeable barriers, methane capturing equipment) to
avoid environmental damage from the generation of
methane and effluent, not mentioning the water and soil
destruction. Older, poorly-designed or poorly-managed
landfills can create a number of adverse environmental
impacts such as wind-blown litter, attraction of vermin,
and generation of liquid leachate. Another common by-
product of landfills is gas (mostly methane and carbon
dioxide), which is produced as organic waste breaks
down an-aerobically. This gas creates odour problems,
kills surface vegetation, and is a greenhouse gas.
Fig. 4: Emission in Tonnes CO2 equivalent/tonne of used
waste according efficiency of combustion WtE systems.
Source: Internat. Panel on Climate Change IPCC [10].
Directive 2000/76/CE indicates the legal frame of the
waste for incineration in favour of land filling, as
Directive 1999/31/CE stipulates the national targets in
the EC to reduce, the quantity of land-filled bio-waste, in
a proportion of 75%, 50 % respectively 35% by 2006,
2010, 2016, in comparison to the level from 1998.
Notable is also the Directive 2001/77/EC concerning the
renewable energy resources utilisation for energy
production, as waste and bio waste are considered such
sources and may contribute to this objective, as well.
2006/12/CE is the basic European legislation concerning
the waste [12]. Table 1 and Figure 4 present the
prognosis for 2025 for the EC concerning the waste
management and also the gap in Emission in Tonnes
CO2 equivalent/tonne of used waste according efficiency
of diverse combustion WtE systems that should be used.
Table 1 Prognosis for 2025 concerning the waste
management in the EC [2], [10].
Technology
Deposit
(%)
Incineration
Using WtE
(%)
Recycling
(%)
Bio-fuel
(%)
EC - 2006
45/62 by
1995 18 36 1
EC - 2025
5 50 35 10
Incineration is usually a method to destroy part of the
MSW, including bio-waste. Incineration is carried out
both on a small scale by individuals and on a large scale
by industry. It is used to dispose of solid, liquid and
gaseous waste. It is recognized as a practical method of
disposing of certain hazardous waste materials (such as
biological medical waste). Incineration is a controversial
method of waste disposal, due to issues such as emission
of gaseous pollutants.
Incineration is common in countries such as Japan
where land is scarcer, as these facilities generally do not
require as much area as landfills. Waste-to-energy (WtE)
or energy-from-waste (EfW) are broad terms for
facilities that burn waste in a furnace or boiler to
generate heat, steam and/or electricity. Combustion in an
incinerator is not always perfect and there have been
concerns about micro-pollutants in gaseous emissions
from incinerator stacks. Particular concern has focused
on some very persistent organics such as dioxins which
may be created within the incinerator and which may
have serious environmental consequences in the area
immediately around the incinerator. On the other hand
this method produces steam or hot flue gases that
introduced into a thermodynamic cycle (Rankin,
combined, etc.) might be used to turn into heat and
electrical energy [10].
Figure 5 indicates for several countries what the
structure of the applied waste management is.
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Fig. 5: EC countries with NB of functional incinerators
and generated power (MW), by 2006.
Source: IPCC [10].
Depending on its energy efficiency, incineration can be
regarded as energy recovery or as a disposal. As the
efficiency of incineration is lowered by the moist bio-
waste, it can be beneficial to remove bio-waste from
municipal waste. On the other hand, incinerated bio-
waste is regarded as carbon-neutral “renewable” fuel in
the meaning of the renewable electricity directive and
the proposed Directive on the promotion of the use of
energy from renewable sources (RES Directive).
Incineration is the process of burning refuse in a
controlled manner. By 2004, about 15 % of the
municipal solid waste in the United States was
incinerated; Canada incinerated about 8 %. In the EC the
situation and prognosis is indicated by Figures 5 and 6.
It is supported by 2008/98/CE, assuming to reduce the
waste quantity, to sort it, to recycle it and use it as
energy potential [26].
There are three major groups in the EC (Figure 6):
Group 1 (light colour): where incineration WtE is less
than 25 % from the generated national waste quantity
and utilisation of more than 25 % of the waste, Group 2,
where incineration is less than 25 % and utilisation of
waste more than 25 %, and Group 3 (dark colour) where
the incineration WtE represents less than 25 % and
utilisation of waste under 25 %.
While some incinerators are used just to burn trash, most
are designed to capture the heat, which is then used to
make steam to produce electricity. Most incineration
facilities burn unprocessed municipal solid waste. This is
often referred to as mass burn technology. Many
countries have difficulty finding adequate space for
landfills. Therefore, they rely on other technologies,
such as incineration and recycling, to reduce the amount
of waste that must be placed in a landfill. About one-
fourth of the incinerators use refuse-derived fuel
collected refuse that has been processed into pellets prior
to combustion. This is particularly useful with certain
kinds of materials, such as tires.
Fig. 6: EC countries according the WtE technologies
adopted.
Source: IPCC [10].
Incinerators drastically reduce the amount of municipal
solid waste up to 90 percent by volume and 75 percent
by weight. Primary risks of incineration, however,
involve air-quality problems and the toxicity and
disposal of the ash. Modern incinerators have many
pollution control devices that trap nearly all of the
pollutants produced. However, tiny amounts of
pollutants are released into the atmosphere, including
certain metals, acid gases, and classes of chemicals
known as dioxins and furans, which have been
implicated in birth defects and several kinds of cancer.
The long-term risks from the emissions are still a subject
of debate. Ash from incineration is also an important
issue. Small concentrations of heavy metals are present
in both the fly ash captured from exhaust stacks and the
bottom ash collected from these facilities. Because the
ash contains lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic in
varying concentrations from such items as batteries,
lighting fixtures, and pigments, the ash is tested to
determine if it should be designated as a hazardous
waste. This is a concern because the toxic substances are
more concentrated in the ash than in the original garbage
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and can seep into groundwater from poorly sealed
landfills. In nearly all cases, the ash is not designated as
hazardous and can be placed in a landfill or used as
aggregate for roads and other purposes [25], [26].
The cost of the land and construction for new
incinerators are also major concerns facing many
communities. Incinerator construction is often a
municipality's single largest bond issue. Incineration is
also more costly than landfills in most situations. As
long as landfills are available and legal (what is not any
more the case in the EC), they will have a cost
advantage. When cities are unable to dispose of their
trash locally in a landfill and must begin to transport the
trash to distant sites, incinerators become more cost
effective.
Fig. 7: Disposal Methods Used in Various Countries.
Source: Data from the U.S. EPA, 2000 [18].
To help reach renewable energy targets, energy recovery
could be significantly enhanced by developments in the
area of anaerobic digestion for production of biogas and
by improving the efficiency of waste incineration, for
example by using cogeneration of electricity and heat.
Figure 7 brings data about the ratio for using the waste in
the major EC countries, by land filing, incineration, and
recycling,
Most of the energy gained via incineration of MSW
results from burning highly calorific fractions such as
paper, plastics, tyres, and synthetic textiles while the
"wet fraction" of biodegradable waste reduces overall
energy efficiency. However, the biodegradable fraction
of municipal waste (but including paper) still delivers
about 50 % of energy coming from an incineration plant
and increased recycling of bio-waste could limit the
amount of bio-waste available for incineration.
Although incineration is often viewed unfavourably by
the general public, it has several advantages. It provides
for a significant reduction of both the volume and weight
of solid wastes, which in turn extends the available life
of existing landfills. Municipal incineration systems, or
resource recovery facilities, also can provide steam and
electricity generation for the surrounding community.
However, as many people are aware, the disadvantages
of incineration include high capital and operational
expenditures and requirements for skilled operators.
Improper equipment or operations can lead to problems
associated with air pollution and emissions deposition.
Municipal waste can be combusted in hulk form or in
reduced form. Shredding, pulverizing, or any other size
reduction method which can be used before incineration
decreases the amount of residual ash, due to belted
contact of the waste material with oxygen during the
combustion process. Shredded waste used as fuel is
generally referred to as refuse - derived fuel (RDF) and
is sometimes combined with other fuel type’s
classification for RDF.
Good combustion depends on three principles, known as
the three T’s: time, temperature, and turbulence. Time
refers to providing adequate residence time of list
combustible matter within the system. Temperature
refers to the optimum temperature for complete
combustion. Turbulence refers to the proper mixing of
the flowing gases through the system. Every incinerator
must be designed to optimize these three variables
according to the waste type in order to provide complete
and clean combustion.
A modern municipal solid waste landfill is typically
constructed above an impermeable clay layer that is
lined with an impermeable membrane and includes
mechanisms for dealing with liquid and gas materials
generated by the contents of the landfill. Each day's
deposit of fresh garbage is covered with a layer of soil to
prevent it from blowing around and to discourage
animals from scavenging for food. Selection of landfill
sites is based on an understanding of local geologic
conditions such as the presence of a suitable clay base,
groundwater geology, and soil type. In addition, it is
important to address local citizens' concerns. Once the
site is selected, extensive construction activities are
necessary to prepare it for use. New landfills have
complex bottom layers to trap contaminant-laden water,
called leachate, leaking through the buried trash. The
water that leaches through the site must be collected and
treated. In addition, monitoring systems are necessary to
detect methane gas production and groundwater
contamination. In some cases, methane produced by
decomposing waste is collected and used to produce heat
or generate electricity. As a result of the technology
involved, new landfills are becoming increasingly more
complex and expensive. They currently cost up to
$1 million per hectare (Figure 8). A modern sanitary
landfill is far different from a simple hole in the ground
filled with trash. A modern landfill is a self-contained
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unit that is separated from the soil by impermeable
membranes and sealed when filled. Methane gas and
groundwater are continuously monitored to ensure that
wastes are not escaping to the air or the groundwater.
Fig, 8: A Well-Designed Modern Landfill.
Source: USA Solid Waste Management Association [6],
[18].
Biological treatment (including composting and
anaerobic digestion) may be classified as recycling
when compost is used on land or for the production of
growing media. If no such use is envisaged it should be
classified as pre-treatment before land filling or
incineration. In addition, anaerobic digestion (producing
biogas for energy purposes) should be seen as energy
recovery. Composting is the most common biological
treatment option (some 95 % of current biological
treatment operations). It is best suited for green waste
and woody material. There are different methods of
which the "closed methods" are more expensive, but less
space demanding, faster, and stricter in terms of process
emissions control (odours, bio-aerosols).
Anaerobic digestion is especially suitable for treating
wet bio-waste, including fat (e.g. kitchen waste). It
produces a gas mixture (mainly methane 50 to 75 % by
volume, and carbon dioxide) in controlled reactors.
Biogas can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
most significantly if used as a bio fuel for transport or
directly injected into the gas distribution grid. Its use as
bio fuel could result in significant reductions of GHG
emissions, showing a net advantage with respect to other
transport fuels. The residue from the process, the
digestate, can be composted and use for similar purpose
as compost, thus improving overall resource recovery
from waste. Every tonne of bio-waste sent to biological
treatment can deliver between 100-200 m3
N of biogas
which could be upgraded to natural gas standards using
3-6 % of its energy. Anaerobic digestion of mixed waste
brings similar energy gains but makes further use of
residues on land difficult.
Mechanical-Biological Treatment (MBT) describes
techniques which combine biological treatment with
mechanical treatment (sorting). Waste materials that are
organic in nature, such as plant material, food scraps,
and paper products, can be recycled using biological
composting and digestion processes to decompose the
organic matter. The resulting organic material is then
recycled as mulch or compost for agricultural or
landscaping purposes. In addition, waste gas from the
process (such as methane) can be captured and used for
generating electricity. The intention of biological
processing in waste management is to control and
accelerate the natural process of decomposition of
organic matter. There are a large variety of composting
and digestion methods and technologies varying in
complexity from simple home compost heaps, to
industrial-scale enclosed-vessel digestion of mixed
domestic waste (Mechanical biological treatment).
Methods of biological decomposition are differentiated
as being aerobic or anaerobic methods, though hybrids
of the two methods also exist.
However, MBT using anaerobic digestion generates
biogas and thus can also be an energy recovery process.
Combustible waste sorted out in MBT processes may be
further incinerated because of its energy recovery
potential. Composting, anaerobic digestion and
mechanical-biological treatment also produce emissions
(including greenhouse gases CH4, N2O and CO2). After
stabilisation through biological treatment, the resulting
material binds short cycle carbon for a limited time: it is
estimated that in the 100-year horizon about 8 % of the
organic matter present in compost will stay as humus in
the soil. The use of compost and digestate as soil
improvers and fertilizers offers agronomic benefits such
as improvement of soil structure, moisture infiltration,
water-holding capacity, soil micro organisms and supply
with nutrients (on average, compost from kitchen waste
contains about 1 % N, 0.7 % P2O5 and 6.5 % K2O). In
particular the recycling of phosphorous can reduce the
need to import mineral fertilizer while replacement of
peat shall reduce damage to wetland eco-systems.
Increased water retention capacity improves workability
of soils, thereby reducing energy consumption when
ploughing them. Better water retention (soil organic
matter can absorb up to 20 times its weight in water) can
help to counteract the desertification of European soils
and prevent flooding.
Finally, the use of compost contributes to counteracting
the steady loss of soil organic matter across temperate
regions. Environmental impact of composting is mainly
limited to some greenhouse gas emissions and volatile
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organic compounds. The impact on climate change due
carbon sequestration is limited and mostly temporary.
The agricultural benefits of compost use are evident but
there is debate about their proper quantification (e.g. by
comparison to other sources of soil improvers), while the
main risk is soil pollution from bad quality compost. As
bio-waste easily gets contaminated during mixed waste
collection, its use on soil can lead to accumulation of
hazardous substances in soil and plants. Typical
contaminants of compost include heavy metals and
impurities (e.g. broken glass), but there is also a
potential risk of contamination by persistent organic
substances such as PCDD/F, PCB or PAHs. Proper
control of input material coupled with the monitoring of
compost quality is crucial. Only a few Member States
allow compost production from mixed waste. Most
require separate collection of bio-waste, often in the
form of a positive list of waste which may be composted.
This approach limits the risk and reduces the cost of
compliance testing by allowing less extensive
monitoring of production and use of compost.
Separate collection schemes function successfully in
many countries especially for green waste. The kitchen
waste are more often collected and treated as part of the
mixed MSW. The benefits of separate collection can
include diverting easily biodegradable waste from
landfills, enhancing the calorific value of the remaining
MSW, and generating a cleaner bio-waste fraction that
allows producing high quality compost and facilitates
biogas production. Separate collection of bio-waste is
also expected to support other forms of recycling likely
to be available on the market in the near future (e.g.
production of chemicals in bio-refineries).
Fig. 9: Recycling Percentage for Selected Materials
(2001) in the USA.
Source: Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in
the United States, 2001 [18], [25].
Recycling is one of the best environmental success
stories of our century. The popular meaning of
‘recycling’ in most developed countries refers to the
widespread collection and reuse of everyday waste
materials such as empty beverage containers. These are
collected and sorted into common types so that the raw
materials from which the items are made can be
reprocessed into new products. Material for recycling
may be collected separately from general waste using
dedicated bins and collection vehicles, or sorted directly
from mixed waste streams.
The most common consumer products recycled include
aluminium beverage cans, steel food and aerosol cans,
HDPE and PET bottles, glass bottles and jars,
paperboard cartons, newspapers, magazines, and
corrugated fibreboard boxes. PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS
are also recyclable, although these are not commonly
collected. These items are usually composed of a single
type of material, making them relatively easy to recycle
into new products. The recycling of complex products
(such as computers and electronic equipment) is more
difficult, due to the additional dismantling and
separation required. Recycling, including composting,
diverted about 30 percent of the solid waste stream from
landfills and incinerators. Figure 9 demonstrates with
data that recycling rates for materials have high value
(automobile batteries). Other materials are more difficult
to market. But recycling rates today are much higher
than in the past as technology and markets have found
uses for materials that once were considered valueless.
Several kinds of programs have contributed to the
increase in recycling rate. Some benefits of recycling are
resource conservation, pollutant reduction, energy
savings, job creation, and reduced need for landfills and
incinerators. However, incentives are needed to
encourage people to participate in recycling programs.
Plasma gasification [13] offers states new opportunities
for waste disposal, and more importantly for renewable
power generation in an environmentally sustainable
manner. Plasma is a highly ionized or electrically
charged gas. An example in nature is lightning, capable
of producing temperatures exceeding 6,980 °C. A
gasifier vessel utilizes proprietary plasma torches
operating at + 5,540 °C (the surface temperature of the
Sun) in order to create a gasification zone of up to
1,650 °C to convert solid or liquid wastes into a syngas.
When municipal solid waste is subjected to this intense
heat within the vessel, the waste’s molecular bonds
break down into elemental components. The process
results in elemental destruction of waste and hazardous
materials [13].
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
the U.S. generated 250 million tons of waste in 2008
alone, and this number continues to rise. About 54 % of
this trash (122,000,000 t) ends up in landfills and is
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consuming land at a rate of nearly 1,400 ha per year. In
fact, land filling is currently the number one method of
waste disposal in the US. Some states no longer have
capacity at permitted landfills and export their waste to
other states [26], [27].
The energy content of waste products can be harnessed
directly by using them as a direct combustion fuel, or
indirectly by processing them into another type of fuel.
Recycling through thermal treatment ranges from using
waste as a fuel source for cooking or heating, to fuel for
boilers to generate heat and electricity. Pyrolysis and
gasification are two related forms of thermal treatment
where waste materials are heated to high temperatures
with limited oxygen availability. The process usually
occurs in a sealed vessel under high pressure. Pyrolysis
of solid waste converts the material into solid, liquid and
gas products. The liquid and gas can be burnt to produce
energy or refined into other products. The solid residue
(char) can be further refined into products such as
activated carbon. Gasification and advanced Plasma arc
gasification are used to convert organic materials
directly into a synthetic gas (syngas) composed of
carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The gas is then burnt to
turn into useful energy (electricity, heat).
2.2 Comparison of Management Options
Most studies refer to management of biodegradable
waste. The difference is that bio-waste does not include
paper and has higher moisture content, which may have
impact especially for comparison of options including
thermal treatment of waste. For the management of
biodegradable waste that is diverted from landfills, there
seems to be no single environmentally best option. The
environmental balance of the various options available
for the management of this waste depends on a number
of local factors, inter alias collection systems, waste
composition and quality, climatic conditions, the
potential of use of various waste derived products such
as electricity, heat, methane-rich gas or compost.
Therefore strategies for management of this waste
should be determined at an appropriate scale based on a
structured and comprehensive approach like Life Cycle
Thinking (LCT) and the associated tool of Life Cycle
Assessment (LCA) to avoid overlooking relevant aspects
and any bias. The situation is of course dependant on the
varying conditions in the countries.
A range of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based studies
have been conducted on national and regional scales.
Also recently, on behalf of the Commission, Life Cycle
Assessments for MSW management in new member
states have been conducted. Whilst arriving at different
results depending on local conditions, they largely show
the common pattern that the benefits of the chosen waste
management system for bio waste significantly depend
on:
The amount of energy that can be recovered is a
crucial parameter giving high energy efficient options a
clear advantage. It is due to better energy utilisation of
wet biodegradable wastes by anaerobic digestion than by
incineration.
The source of the energy which is replaced by the
recovered energy is mainly based on fossil fuels, the
benefits of a high energy recovery of the bio waste
system become more important. However, if the
replaced energy is largely based on low emission
sources, e.g. hydro energy, energy recovered from bio
waste is obviously associated with significantly less
environmental benefits.
The amount, quality and use of the recycled
compost and the products which are replaced by using
compost - If the compost is used in landscaping or
landfill cover any environmental benefits will be very
limited. However, if high quality compost is replacing
industrial fertilizers, the benefits usually will be
significant. Also the replacement of peat yields high
environmental benefits.
The emission profile of biological treatment plants
show that plants can have very different emission
patterns, which lead to more or less environmental
impacts. The studies show especially importance of
emissions of N2O and NH3.
2.3 Economic Impacts
The capital and operating costs of MSW management
and biological treatment of waste depend on multiple
factors and vary regionally and locally, hence it is
difficult to arrive at meaningful average values or make
comparisons. The most important variables for such
costs include the plant's size, technology used,
geological conditions (for landfills), costs of locally
available energy, type of waste available, transport costs
and others. This excludes indirect costs on the
environment and health. Land filling is usually
considered the cheapest option, especially if the price of
land is low, or where the environmental costs of land
filling and future costs of landfill closure and aftercare
have not yet been internalised in the gate fee (especially
in the new Member States). The increase of costs due to
the Landfill Directive will possibly change this situation
combined with rising awareness of the “real” long term
costs of landfills. Equally, revenues from energy
recovery and products can at least partly offset the costs
of other management options. These then can even come
close to break even, making them economically more
interesting than land filling. Incineration requires higher
investment but can offer good economies of scale and
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does not require changes to existing MSW collection
schemes for land filling, while brining in revenues from
energy recovery especially when the efficiency is
maximised by using waste in high efficiency
cogeneration units for the production of both electricity
and heat.
As biological treatment must be applied to waste of
sufficient quality to deliver safe compost, the costs of
separate collection of bio-waste must be added to the
treatment process. Selling compost may be a source of
additional revenues and again, energy recovery using
anaerobic digestion can provide further revenues.
In the study for European Commission [3], [8] the
following assumed financial cost estimates for
management of bio waste were proposed, as
representative for the EU-15 (2002):
Separate collection of bio-waste followed by
composting: min 35 to 95 €/tonne;
– Separate collection of bio-waste followed by anaerobic
digestion: min 80 to 135 €/tonne;
– Landfill of mixed waste: min. 55 €/tonne;
– Incineration of mixed waste: min. 90 €/tonne.
EUNOMIA estimates the additional costs of separate
collection at 0-15 €/tonne, while optimisation of the
separate collection systems (e.g. by increasing periods
between collection of non-biodegradable waste) could
decrease these costs below zero making collection
profitable. On the other hand, COWI (2004) [3] gives
examples of much higher costs of separate collection of
37-135 €/tonne and estimates it possible to achieve net
benefits of separate bio waste collection, even if small
and depending on a number of factors (cost of separate
collection, energy efficiency of an alternative
incinerator, type of energy displaced by energy from the
alternative incinerator).
Investment costs of biological treatment plants vary,
depending on the type of installation, the emission
reduction techniques used, and the product quality
requirements. Study supporting the Impact Assessment
for the revision of IPPC directive quotes 60-150 €/tonne
for open composting and 350-500 €/tonne for closed
composting and digestion in large-scale installations
[10]. Market prices for compost are closely linked to the
public perception and customer confidence in a product.
Usually, compost for use in agriculture is sold for a
symbolic price (e.g. 1 €/tonne, the price may even
include transport and spreading). However, well
marketed compost of recognised quality may reach
14 €/tonne, while for small amounts of packed compost
or blends including compost the price may even reach
150-300 €/tonne. The prices are higher at well developed
compost markets.
Due to high transport prices and low market value,
compost is usually used close to the composting site and
presently long-distance transport and international trade
are limited which limits impact from the Internal Market
on the competitiveness of this product.
There is no problem with the market for biogas or
landfill gas. It can be burnt on site to generate heat
and/or electricity or cleaned and upgraded to reach the
quality of automotive fuel or natural gas pumped into the
grid. These uses would maximise the potential of
anaerobic digestion for reducing GHG emissions,
helping to achieve both the Kyoto and the RES
Directive's targets.
Separate collection schemes can help in diverting
biodegradable waste from landfills, providing quality
input to bio-waste recycling and improving the
efficiency of energy recovery. However, setting up
separate collection is not without challenges, including:
• The need to re-design waste collection systems and
change of citizens' habits. While properly designed
separate collection systems are not necessarily more
expensive, their proper design and management require
higher effort than mixed waste collection systems.
• Difficulties in identifying areas suitable for separate
collection. In densely populated areas it is problematic
to guarantee the necessary purity of the input. In
scarcely populated areas separate collection may be too
expensive and home composting may be a better
solution.
• Problems of matching the waste arising with the use
of recycled material, due to transport costs and low
prices the use of compost is often confined to locations
near the treatment plant. This may pose problems in
densely populated areas.
Hygiene and odour issues, especially in warm and
hot climate.
2.4 Social and Health Impacts
Increased recycling of bio-waste is expected to have
limited positive impacts on employment. New jobs may
be created in waste collection and in small composting
plants. Separate collection of bio-waste may be three
times more labour-intensive than collecting mixed waste.
It is also likely that inhabitants of areas covered by
separate collection will have to change their waste
separation habits; however, there are no data for
assessing the societal cost of separate collection.
There is a general lack of quality data on the health
impacts of various waste management options based on
epidemiologic studies. A study by DEFRA [4] did not
reveal any apparent health effects for people living near
MSW management facilities. Further to this study, in the
future additional research could be required to ascertain
the absence of risks to human health from such facilities.
However, it identified small risks of birth defects in
families living near landfill sites and of bronchitis and
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minor ailments for residents living nearby (especially
open) composting plants though. No apparent health
effects have been identified for incineration plants and
the neighbourhood, especially as modern clean
combustion and flue gas cleaning technologies are
available and applied.
3 Technical Solutions for Incineration
As incineration has many advantages and generates at
same time a renewable energy resource, necessary for
further development of the sustainable civilization, one
will insist and present in the following some main
features and possibilities for this technology. An
incineration system is comprised of several components.
It must have a waste reading system, also referred to as a
loading or charging system, to ensure uniform loading of
the incinerator. The incinerator itself generally consists
of primary chamber, a secondary chamber, an auxiliary
fuel system, air supply systems, a hearth or a grate area,
and either moving grates or rams to move the waste ad
the ash through the unit. The incineration system must
also have an ash removal system: both wet and dry ash
removal systems are available. Air pollution equipment
will most likely be required on all new incineration
systems. Many municipal incinerators also are equipped
with efficient steam and or electricity generators,.
The types of incinerators used in municipal waste
combustion include fluidized bed incinerators, rotary
water wall combustors, reciprocating grate systems are
related modular incinerators [17], [20], [22], [23], [24].
Fig. 10: Modular incinerator [17].
The basic variations in the design of these systems are
related to the waste feed system, the air delivery system,
and the movement of the material through the system.
As an illustration of typical system configurations,
Figure 10 depicts a modular incinerator, and Figure 11
depicts a rotary combustor. Both are equipped with a
heal recover boiler. Finally flue gas treatment is
available (Figure 12) [13], [24]. Several reference texts
are available which provide further details on the various
system designs [21], [22], [23].
Gross electric power output from a resource recovery
system ranges from 340 kWh per ton of raw solid waste
incinerated. Output is dependent on the type of
incineration technology utilized and the type of waste
fed. Electricity generated by a resource recovery facility
will usually be used to supply the total electrical need for
in-house power consumption, which ranges from 10 %
to 15 % of the gross amount generated. The remaining
85 90 % can be sold to the local utility.
Fig. 11: Water-cooled rotary combustor and boiler [17].
Fig. 12: Normal flue gas treatment for incinerators (de
dusting, desulphurisation, DeNOx, including Hg and
HCl retention).
Source: Process Diagram of Dry Sorption based on Bicar
and SCR - DeNOx technology [13], [24].
Finally a pilot for co-combustion of waste with coal is
presented, being a solution for small retrofitting of
existing boilers in new member states, that are at the end
of their life time, and thus having the chance to get
further reduction possibility in limiting emissions from
fossil sources, and additional generating, by
cogeneration higher efficiency and CO2 reduction, from
utilising of waste (biodegradable fraction) as renewable
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energy source. The facility (Figure 13) comprises several
main parts, and is based on original design [19], [20]: (i)
The main burning subassembly comprising the furnace,
the air distributor, divided with grates for injection of the
fluidisation air and main combustion air, the fuel
bunkers (biomass and coal), the starting & post
combustion burner working with natural gas, and diverse
measuring instruments and observation gaps. (ii) The
heat transfer subassembly components are mainly
formed by the convective case. (iii) The flue gases de-
dusting system components are formed by a cyclone dust
separator, a convective connection, flow measuring
sockets, extracting tubes for flue gas analysis and
powder/dust sampling, thermocouples, thermometers &
manometers. (iv) The flue gases cleaning subassembly is
formed by a scrubbing tower, a neutralization reactor, a
demister, and an appropriate air feeding system,
including all necessary adaptors.
Fig. 12: Design of the co-firing facility in fluidized bed
[19], [20]: 1 - Start-up burner, 2 - Fuel bunkers, 3 -
Fluidized bed furnace 4 - Ash cooler, 5 - Convective
case, 6 - Dust separator-cyclone, 7 - Scrubbing tower, 8
– Neutralisation reactor, 9 - Demister, 10, 13 - Reagents
circulation pumps, 11, 12, 14 - Containers, 15 - Filter, 16
- Air feeding system, 17- Air distributor, CF – Chimney
4. Waste in the RES cocktail in the EC
Fig. 13: Installed Electricity capacity of RES in EU,
2007.
Source: Eurostat [6], [7].
Figure 13 is indicating a result of the waste
implementation directives, by year 2007, attesting that
waste is a part in the energy cocktail in the EU27. In the
EU27, 524 kg of municipal waste was generated per
person in 2008. 40 % of this municipal waste was land
filled, 20 % incinerated, 23 % recycled and 17 %
composted. The average amount of waste generated in
the EU27 was virtually unchanged from 2007 (525 kg
per person). This information is published by Eurostat
[6], [7], the statistical office of the European Union.
Municipal waste generated per person varied from 306
kg in the Czech Republic to 802 kg in Denmark [3], [5],
[14]. Waste became recently also a matter of trade, as
Figure 14 is indicating.
Fig. 14: Developments in shipments of paper waste as an
example of non-hazardous wastes out and within the EU
from 1995 to 2007.
Source: Eurostat [7].
Increasing amounts, especially of waste paper, plastics
and metals are being shipped from developed countries
to countries where environmental standards are less
stringent. Huge ships steam around the high seas
everyday carrying goods from emerging markets in Asia
to the West. Rather than sail back empty, and needing
something to provide ballast, the ship owners are only
too happy to take waste products from Europe to be
recycled back in Asia [7].
That does not mean that shipments of waste are not
regulated. Both the UN and the EU have strict rules on
what can be shipped where [26], [8], [13]. At the global
level international trade of 'hazardous wastes' (waste that
is potentially dangerous for people or the environment)
is regulated by the UN's Basel Convention. A central
goal of the Basel Convention is to protect human health
and the environment by minimising hazardous waste
production whenever possible through environmentally
sound management. The convention requires that the
production of hazardous wastes be managed using an
integrated life-cycle approach, which involves strict
controls from its generation to storage, transport,
treatment, reuse, recycling, recovery and final disposal.
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The EU's long term aim is that each Member State
should dispose of its own waste domestically (the
'proximity principle'). However, as shipments of
hazardous and problematic waste for disposal from
EU Member States nearly quadrupled between 1997 and
2005, this aim has yet to be fulfilled [26], [27].
The factors driving the export and import of waste vary:
availability of special treatment technology; a shortage
of materials; differences in prices for disposal or
recovery. EU policy, setting targets for recycling, also
leads to waste shipments from Member States who
cannot meet their targets at home. The volumes of waste
on the market keep costs low for a country like China,
which needs cheap raw materials. As long as this waste
is not for disposal at its destination and does not contain
hazardous materials, it is an acceptable trade.
Fig. 15: Europe’s share of the world market in green
sectors.
Source: EC News [9].
Figure 15 indicates that waste management is very
important and promising hopes are related to its
contribution to the potential green share in the energy
cocktail offered by Europe in the global world energy
balance [9].
In 2005 [2], [8] the total greenhouse gas emissions in the
EU27 was 5,177 Mt CO2 equivalent (Figure 16)
comprising 82.5 % CO2; 8.1 % CH4; 8.0 % N2O, while
the remaining 1.4 % corresponded to the fluorinated
gases. Energy related emissions continue to be the
dominant representing approximately 80 % of the total
emissions (see Figure 16), with the largest emitting
sector being the production of electricity and heat,
followed by transport. Even waste is sharing a reduced
percentage in the total balance, it is not to be negligible.
The C from waste content might be used for a better
purpose, being the support for combustible matter.
Since 1999, GHG emissions started to rise again, with
some fluctuation over the period of 2004–2005. The
reduction in energyrelated emissions was much
smaller than that observed for nonenergyrelated
emissions in agriculture, waste and other sectors. These
sectors reduced their emissions substantially, by 19.6 %
across the EU27, due to improved waste management,
emission reductions in industrial processes (as well as
general restructuring leading away from heavy industry,
particularly in the EU12) and agriculture [2], [9].
Fig. 16: Structure of total greenhouse gas emissions by
sector, EU27, 2005.
Source: EEA, Energy and environment report 2008 [2].
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Fig. 17: Pollutant Emissions by sectors, in 2005, EU27.
Source: EEA, Energy & environ. Report 2008 [2], [8].
As it results from Figure 17, waste is also contributing to
the general emission of pollutants into the ambient air.
Fig. 18: Contribution of renewable energy sources to
primary energy consumption in the EU27.
Source: EEA, Energy and environment report 2008 [2],
[8], [9].
The share of renewable energy sources in primary
energy consumption in the EU27 (Figure 18) increased
slowly from 4.4 % in 1990 to 6.7 % in 2005. This
development led to a reduction in CO2 emissions (see
Figures 16 and 17) [2], [8], [10]. However, rising overall
energy consumption in absolute terms has counteracted
some of the environmental benefits from the increased
use of renewable. The strongest increase came from
wind and solar energy. In absolute terms, about 80 % of
the increase came from biomass, including waste.
Despite good progress, significant growth will be needed
to meet, by 2010, the indicative target for the EU of a
12 % share of renewable [8].
5 Conclusions
1. Waste Management is becoming one of the key
problems of the modern world, an international
issue that is intensified by the volume and
complexity of domestic and industrial waste
discarded by society. Unfortunately, many of the
practices adopted in the past were aimed at short-
term solutions without sufficient regard or
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knowledge for long term implications on health, the
environment or sustainability and this, in many
cases, is leading to the need to take difficult and
expensive remedial action.
2. Waste is indicated to be a resource for the energy
system based on RES, in the EU27 and not only.
3. The quantity and type of wastes generated within a
community must be estimated before an appropriate
waste management plan can be developed.
4. The amount of waste produced by residents and
businesses is increasing. Over the past decade, the
annual rate of increase in household waste rising
has generally been between 2 % and 3%. Analysis
of recent trends in waste generation shows that the
rate of growth in waste generation has been quite
consistent for waste collected from households;
5. Three strategies are employed in waste
minimization: reuse, reduction, and recycling.
Composting is generally, considered to be a form of
recycling.
6. Resource recovery facilities are advantageous
because they provide for significant reduction of
both the volume and weight of solid wastes, which
in turn extends the available life of existing
landfills. These facilities can also provide steam
and/or electricity for the surrounding community.
7. Combustion or biogas production are technical
options that are offering renewable energy benefits
to the waste generating society, on spot.
8. Essentially, five techniques for a novel waste
management are used: (1) environmental friendly
landfills in novel deposits, (2) incineration, (3)
source reduction, (4) composting, and (5) recycling.
9. Waste co-combustion makes the Kyoto protocol to
be more realistic and brings advantages from three
potentially benefit schemes:
EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS),
National Green Energy Schemes (Green
Certificates),
National Energy Efficiency Schemes (e.g.
Combined Heat &Power markets).
10. Reducing (avoiding) the waste quantity is
considered an optimum, cost effective solution for a
sustainable management.
11. EU policy, setting targets for recycling, also leads
to waste shipments from Member States who
cannot meet their targets at home.
12. Correct waste management may improve the
contribution to RES of existing energy resources
and also to support the EC master plan (January
2008, the European Commission proposed Climate
and Energy package) in energy for 2020, in
comparison to 1990, meaning:
20 % less greenhouse gas emission,
20 % improved energy efficiency,
20 % renewable energy,
10 % renewable fuels.
This package comprises a set of key policy proposals
that are closely interlinked. They include: (i) a proposal
amending the EU Emissions Trading Directive (EU
ETS); (ii) a proposal relating to the sharing of efforts to
meet the Community's independent greenhouse gas
reduction commitment in sectors not covered by the EU
emissions trading system (such as transport, buildings,
services, smaller industrial installations, agriculture and
waste); and (iii) a proposal for a Directive promoting
renewable energy, to help achieve both of the above
emissions targets [8], [9], [13].
13. The efforts required to meet these targets will also
cut air pollution in Europe. For example,
improvements in energy efficiency and increased
use of renewable energy will both lead to reduced
amounts of fossil fuel combustion, a key source of
air pollution. These positive side effects are
referred to as the 'co-benefits' of climate change
policy. Waste management is a considerable part
and contributor to it!
14. Climate and resource challenges require drastic
action. Strong dependence on fossil fuels such as
oil and inefficient use of raw materials expose
world wide consumers and businesses to harmful
and costly price shocks, threatening our economic
security and contributing to climate change. The
expansion of the world population from 6 to 9
billion will intensify global competition for natural
resources, and put pressure on the environment.
Using the waste is a solution to contribute to the
general aim of a worldwide solution to the
problems of climate change at the same time as
implementing the agreed climate and energy
strategy.
15. In the next future of the world energy cocktail,
waste represents a non negligible renewable energy
resource, contributing as well to a cleaner
environment, development of business
entrepreneurship and offering security and jobs to
local communities, direct producer of the waste.
16. Waste management must be analysed and applied
in the context of the Commission’s proposal
regarding five measurable for the EU targets for
2020 that will steer the process and be translated
into national targets: for employment; for research
and innovation; for climate change and energy; for
education; and for combating poverty. They
represent the direction we should take and will
mean we can measure our success [2], [3].
17. Waste Management is a key player in maintaining a
business’s ISO14001 accreditations. Companies are
encouraged to improve their environmental
efficiencies each year. One way to do this is by
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improving a company’s waste management with a
new recycling service.
18.
T
here are a number of concepts about waste
management which vary in their usage between
countries or regions.
19. So far municipal waste management has already
reduced GHG emissions significantly within the
EU: from 64 to 28 million tonnes CO2 annually
between the years 1990 and 2007, which is
equivalent to a drop from 130 to 60 kg CO2 each
year per capita. As discussed by the International
Solid Waste Association (ISWA) the EU municipal
waste sector will achieve 18 % of the reduction
target set for Europe before 2012 according to the
Kyoto agreement. Looking forward, between 2012
and 2020 the EU municipal waste sector will
become a net saver of GHG emissions according to
current predictions [3] [7], [8], [14].
20. Waste utilisation has multiple advantages over
conventional energy sources:
It contributes to security of supply as a
versatile and constant renewable energy
source,
It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and
improves air quality, depending on
technology,
It creates employment opportunities and
contributes to rural development and
regeneration,
Its use can lead to numerous other
environmental benefits, such as the use of
special wastes as feed stocks, leading to the
reduction of landfill waste or sustainable
energy crop management, leading to
increased biodiversity.
Fig. 19: Diagram of the waste hierarchy.
Source: [13].
21. Waste hierarchy (Figure 19) refers to the "3 Rs"
reduce, reuse and recycle, which classify waste
management strategies according to their
desirability in terms of waste minimization. The
waste hierarchy remains the cornerstone of most
waste minimization strategies. The aim of the waste
hierarchy is to extract the maximum practical
benefits from products and to generate the
minimum amount of waste. The Strategy for the
Waste Management Hierarchy, in order of
preference, prevention, re-use, recycle/compost,
recovery, disposal, except where costs are
prohibitive, or where the environmental
consequences can be demonstrated to be negative.
22. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a
strategy designed to promote the integration of all
costs associated with products throughout their life
cycle (including end-of-life disposal costs) into the
market price of the product. Extended producer
responsibility is meant to impose accountability
over the entire lifecycle of products and packaging
introduced to the market. This means that firms
which manufacture, import and/or sell products are
required to be responsible for the products after
their useful life as well as during manufacture.
23. Polluter pays principle is a principle where the
polluting party pays for the impact caused to the
environment. With respect to waste management,
this generally refers to the requirement for a waste
generator (person, industry, agent, community, etc.)
to pay for appropriate disposal of the waste.
24. Promoting the economic and employment
opportunities of sustainable waste management,
consistent with the principles of sustainable
development and best value, is of real importance.
25. Management of the resources and waste should
occur in a way that meets the needs residents now
without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs.
26. Work & Lobby closely of the legal governmental
and associative agencies, including commercial,
statutory, non-governmental, academic and
community based or not-for-profit organisations,
with the community & community sector to educate
residents in waste-related matters and encourage
engagement with waste prevention and reuse
initiatives is of major importance and necessary. In
this sense, acting together to research and develop
coordinated services and infrastructure for waste
collection, treatment, transfer and disposal, aiming
to manage residual waste within the County/region,
where this is consistent, and to manage all other
waste at the nearest appropriate facility by the most
appropriate method or technology is in perfect
accordance with the proximity principle.
27. Finally only approaches to managing waste from
commercial and industrial sources where this
contributes to the overall environmental, social and
economic wellbeing of Residents is important, as
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well to pursuit of the Partnership’s vision of
sustainable waste and resource management.
28. Education and awareness in the area of waste and
waste management are becoming increasingly
important from a global perspective of resource
management.
References:
[1] *** British Medical Association, Health
&Environmental impact assessment, an integrated
approach, Earthscan Publications Ltd, 1999.
[2] *** A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive
growth, Communication from the Commission
Europe 20102010.
[3] *** COWI,
http://www.cowi.com/menu/services/utilities/munic
ipalandhazardouswaste/wastetoenergy/Pages/Waste
ToEnergy.aspx.
[4] *** DEFRA, http://www.defra.gov.uk/.
[5] *** EUNOMIA http://www.eunomia.co.uk/.
[6] *** USA Solid Waste Management Association,
http://www.environmentalistseveryday.org/about-
nswma-solid-waste-management/index.php.
[7] *** EUROSTAT,
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waste/data/wastemanagement/waste_treatment.
[8] *** GREEN PAPER: On the management of bio-
waste in the European Union, SEC (2008) 2936
[9] *** http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-
2014/president/news/statements/pdf/20100210_3_e
n.pdf.
[10] *** IPPC http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-
report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr.pdf.
[11] *** LEICS,
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[12] *** Waste Incineration Directive, 2000/76/EC.
[13] *** Waste management ,
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a sustainable future, The Benjamin Cummings
Publishing Company Inc., 1990.
[17] G. Burke, B. R. Singh, L. Theodore, Handbook
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Environmental Science. A study of
interrelationships, Mc Graw Hill Higher Education,
2006.
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Waste in a Romanian Fluidized Bed Combustion
Facility, World Renewable Energy Congress,
WREC 2006, Florence, 2006, pp. 269-275.
[20] I. Ionel, Fr. Popescu, N. Lontis, W. Russ, Co-
combustion of fossil fuel with bio fuel in small
cogeneration systems, between necessity and
achievements, SSE '09, Volume II, Proceedings of
the 11th WSEAS International Conference on
Sustainability in Science Engineering, Timisoara,
pp. 352-358.
[21] J. G. Henry, G. W. Heinke, Environmental
Science and Engineering, Prentice Hall, 1989.
[22] L. Yassin, P. Lettieri, St. J. R. Simons, Study of
the Process Design and Flue Gas Treatment of an
Industrial-Scale Energy-from-Waste Combustion
Plant, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2007, 46 (8), pp.
2648–2656.
[23] L. Yassin, P. Lettieri1, St. Simons, A. Germanà,
Thermal conversion of biomass and waste, ECI
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by The Berkeley Electronic Press, 2010.
[24] N. Verdone, P. De Filippis, Thermodynamic
behaviour of sodium and calcium based sorbents in
the emission control of waste incinerators’,
Chemosphere 54 (2004), pp. 975-985.
[25] W. Cunningham, M.A. Cunningham, B. W.
Saigo, Environmental Science, A global concern,
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[26] USA Environmental Protection Agency,
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[27] *** EEA, http://www.eea.europa.eu/
highlights/the-waste-trade-2013-legal-and-illegal.
[28] *** EEA, Tran boundary shipments of waste in
the EU, ETC/RWM 2008, European Topic Centre
on Resource and Waste Management,
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ADVANCES in WASTE MANAGEMENT
ISSN: 1790-5095
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ISBN: 978-960-474-190-8
Thesis
Full-text available
A proposal work , expected to be completed by october. Any useful contribution is welcomed.
Article
Full-text available
The paper focuses on the necessity of environmental protection through modern combustion facilities, that assure the thermal and electrical energy for small applications. It is known that air quality is depending on such pollutant sources, as well, especially because the exhaust source is at low level over the soil, and the dispersion of the pollutants are reduced. Using biofuels in addition to the fossil fuels, in special designed technologies, assures the reduction of the CO 2 exhaust, supplementary other advantages such as regional energy independence, cost, local utilisation of waste energy resources, new opening of business possibilities and working places, etc. Of course disadvantages are also notable. The authors summarise their experience achieved on pilot plants using as biofuel waste, residual biomass, and buthanol.
Article
This paper reports on a study that contributed to the process design of an industrial-scale energy-from-waste (EfW) combustion plant that processes over 250 000 tonnes of waste and produces 34 MWe of electric energy. The study also investigates the effect of replacing the conventional calcium hydroxide sorbent with sodium bicarbonate in the removal of acidic pollutants from the flue gas. Hydrated lime is widely used to remove acidic pollutants such as HCl, SO2, and HF from flue gas streams in municipal solid waste (MSW) combustion. However, it is corrosive, it is required in excess, and it requires low operating temperatures for the removal to be effective. Mass and energy balances of the process were performed using the proximate and ultimate analyses of the waste and a mathematical model based on the unreacted-core model has been applied to compare the efficiency of using both sorbents. The economic feasibility of using sodium bicarbonate instead of hydrated lime in the plant has also been investigated. This study showed that although sodium bicarbonate is a more expensive sorbent, it is more efficient, and it is economically a more attractive option for the removal of acidic pollutants than hydrated lime.
Article
The dry treatment of flue gas produced by incineration processes is discussed thermodynamically. The study investigates the theoretical limits achieved by sodium and calcium based sorbents in the removal of the pollutant species HCl, NOx and SO2. Calculations were performed varying the temperature and the molar ratio between the amount of the injected alkaline sorbent and the content of the pollutant gaseous species in the flue gas. Results show that sodium cation based sorbents are more efficient than calcium based ones in the whole investigated temperature range (100-600 degrees C). The higher effectiveness of sodium based sorbents is particularly remarkable towards hydrogen chloride, whose concentration can always be reduced below the values set by the environmental regulations. Possible improvements in the treatment efficiency of combustion fumes obtainable with sodium based sorbents can be mainly summarised in a lower concentration of HCl in the treated gas and in a partial reduction of NOx concentration.
Co-combustion of Waste in a Romanian Fluidized Bed Combustion Facility
  • I Ionel
  • Al Savu
I. Ionel, Al. Savu, et al., Co-combustion of Waste in a Romanian Fluidized Bed Combustion Facility, World Renewable Energy Congress, WREC 2006, Florence, 2006, pp. 269-275.
Handbook of environmental management and technology Environmental Science. A study of interrelationships
  • G Burke
  • B R Singh
  • L B Theodore
  • A T Smith
  • Bockarie
G. Burke, B. R. Singh, L. Theodore, Handbook of environmental management and technology, Wiley Interscience, A John Wiley & Sons, 2005. [18] E. Enger, B. Smith, A. T. Bockarie, Environmental Science. A study of interrelationships, Mc Graw Hill Higher Education, 2006.
  • J G Henry
  • G W Heinke
J. G. Henry, G. W. Heinke, Environmental Science and Engineering, Prentice Hall, 1989.
Action for a sustainable future
  • D D Chiras
  • Environmental Science
D. D. Chiras, Environmental Science. Action for a sustainable future, The Benjamin Cummings Publishing Company Inc., 1990.
Environmental Science, A global concern, Mc. Graw Hill, Higher Education
  • W Cunningham
  • M A Cunningham
  • B W Saigo
W. Cunningham, M.A. Cunningham, B. W. Saigo, Environmental Science, A global concern, Mc. Graw Hill, Higher Education, 2007.
Health &Environmental impact assessment, an integrated approach
*** British Medical Association, Health &Environmental impact assessment, an integrated approach, Earthscan Publications Ltd, 1999.
Cocombustion of fossil fuel with bio fuel in small cogeneration systems, between necessity and achievements, SSE '09
  • I Ionel
  • Fr
  • N Popescu
  • W Lontis
  • Russ
I. Ionel, Fr. Popescu, N. Lontis, W. Russ, Cocombustion of fossil fuel with bio fuel in small cogeneration systems, between necessity and achievements, SSE '09, Volume II, Proceedings of the 11th WSEAS International Conference on Sustainability in Science Engineering, Timisoara, pp. 352-358.